Adopting a zero-waste philosophy is an ambitious goal, but not an impossible one if you take it step by step. It's simply being mindful of our impact, working towards decreasing our environmental footprint, and reducing the amount of trash we're producing as a whole.
Here at Spragg's, we've made it part of our mission to eliminate foam trays by the end of September, reducing packaging by 15%, and implementing compostable bags at all locations. For us, it's crucial to find ways to run our business in a way that leaves a positive impact on the environment.
It might sound daunting, but it's also important to establish this zero waste goal in your home as well. If you don't know where to start, we encourage you to begin with your grocery shopping routine. You might not realize it, but simply heading to the supermarket and restocking your fridge can be the culprit of a large amount of waste.
Here are a few tips that you can adapt to lower your consumption and implement a grocery shopping process that produces little to no waste at all – we challenge you!
Shop at the Farmer’s Market
Here you can purchase fresh, local foods, grown in Alberta's backyard without the use of hormones and chemicals. The downside is that perishables won't last as long, forcing you to perhaps make en extra trip here and there. However, you won't find fresher ingredients anywhere else! Plus, you can come say hello to us and pick up your weekly meat order at the same time – win-win!
Use Reusable Cotton Produce Bags
Plastic grocery bags are a top cause of waste build-up and marine pollution. For this reason alone, we encourage you to use reusable bags whenever you head to the grocery store. You can purchase them at the Farmers Market, specialty food stores, and most recently at many grocery chains.
Bring Your Own Container (BYOC)
Bring your own jars and containers to fill up on bulk dry and liquid items. There are also many refilleries around the city, such as The Canary, that offer anything from bulk body products to cleaning supplies. This allows you to purchase as much as you need, discard unnecessary waste, and eliminate the need for individual packaging.
Only Buy What You Need
Coming home to a full fridge is nice, but unless you're shopping to fill many mouths, it's likely you won't consume it all before it goes bad. It's tempting to stock up on your favourite items, but hold off and only purchase items when you run out. Make a list and try shopping more intentionally for specific recipes or occasions, so you're only getting what you need and not making as many impulse purchases. Tip: don't shop hungry!
Buy in Bulk if Possible
Keeping in mind the expiry dates and which items perish quickly, purchase foods in bulk - such as meat, vegetables, and fruit - that can be kept in your freezer and de-thawed as needed. This is a more affordable way to shop, while making those hectic weekday nights effortless. At Spragg's, you can purchase your meat in various cuts and amounts while being certain that it will taste as fresh as the day you brought it home if you end up freezing a chunk of it.
Look for Recyclable Packaging
At this stage, some packaging is inevitable. Shop smart by purchasing food in recyclable, compostable, or glass containers over low-grade plastic packaging.
Avoid the Little Items
This includes getting your receipts emailed to you, not using twist ties, keeping your list on your phone instead of writing it on a pad of paper, etc. The list goes on an although these actions might be small, every effort adds up to make a greater difference in the long run!